Apple iPhone 5 Sales Showing Weakness
According to research firm OTR Global, shipments of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 device will miss expectations. The research firm believes that 2013's first quarter shipment will come in around 35-37 million units. Currently, the consensus estimate is for around 47 million units.
OTR's call for disappointing iPhone sales isn't surprising -- analysts at Citigroup raised similar concerns Sunday when they downgraded their rating on Apple to Neutral from Buy.
In their note, Citi analysts said, “We have just returned from meetings with the hardware supply chain in Asia. Early in the week, we would characterize the Apple supply chain as optimistic about 1Q13 prospects, by week's end evidence of Apple order cuts to some suppliers had emerged...it is unlikely that Apple is cutting orders in a “great” demand environment.”
However, Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, notable for his $1111 price target, thinks that speculation of weak iPhone sales is much ado about nothing.
In a note countering the speculation, White writes, “Over the past couple of weeks, there has been growing concerns around iPhone 5 order cuts in the tech supply chain by Apple...we remain more than comfortable with our iPhone estimates for 1QFY13 and into 2QFY13. In fact, we believe there could be upside to our overall iPhone projections. As such, we believe the doomsday scenarios...are inaccurate.”
Apple's dramatic drop from its $705 high in September to the current price near $530 per share has generated nearly as much buzz as its run up from $400 at the start of the year.
Speculation has grown that Apple's competitors, particularly Samsung, have caught up (and possibly surpassed) the tech giant in terms of phone technology.
Still, despite OTR's note, shares of Apple weren't deterred, rallying over two percent on Tuesday to trade at $531.23.
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